Top ten questions to ask in a job interview

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The interview process is a two-way street; although it’s a chance for your potential employer to learn more about your educational and professional background and skills to determine whether you are right for the job, it’s also an opportunity for you to gain more of an insight into whether this job is right for you by asking intelligent questions.

Here are ten questions which are guaranteed to make your interviewer sit up and take notice…

1. What does a typical day in this role look like?

Although it might be a fairly straightforward question, asking this will allow you to learn as much as you can about the daily tasks you would be carrying out as part of the role, and what your main responsibilities would be.

Not only will this demonstrate an eagerness to understand more about the job, it also means that you won’t have any surprises on your first day if you are offered the position.

2. What qualities does someone need to be really successful in this position?

If the interviewer responds to this question by mentioning specific skills or traits which you feel you possess but didn’t manage to cover in the interview, use this as an opportunity to further explain why you have the right personal qualities for this role, expanding on relevant qualifications and work experience.

3. What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the new starter in this role?

Here, you’ll be highlighting a willingness to take on difficult tasks, and showing that you wouldn’t be afraid about tackling any potential problems that you’d face head-on.

You can draw on your own experiences and provide the interviewer with examples of how you’ve demonstrated resilience during difficult work-related situations in the past.

4. How does this role relate to the overall structure of the organisation?

By asking this question, you’re showing that you’re thinking about the bigger picture: not just how your contribution would affect your team, but how it would affect the company as a whole.

5. What training and induction will I be given?

This is a great opportunity to display a real willingness to learn new skills and hit the ground running in your role almost immediately, ensuring you are fully prepared to take on the demands of your new job.

6. Is there any scope for promotion?

By enquiring about opportunities to advance your career in the future, the interviewer will pick up on your ambition for career success, and that you are keen to progress within the organisation.

7. What types of professional development opportunities do you offer?

This question highlights that you’re a go-getter, who is keen to develop your skills to fit in with what the company needs, and add value to the organisation.

8. What is the performance review process like here?

It’s important for you to know exactly how the company measures the performance of its employees so that you know what you need to aim towards. Asking this will show the employer that you’re objective- driven and committed to delivering real results for the business.

9. Where do you see the business in five years’ time?

Demonstrating a curiosity about the business as a whole and its prospects is something that the interviewer will be impressed by. You’ll also be displaying a commitment to staying with the company long-term, rather than using this opportunity as a springboard to a career with another organisation.

10. What are the next steps?

By asking what happens next, you’ll not only be able to get a better idea about when you should expect to hear about whether you have been successful or not, but you’ll also be signalling an enthusiasm for the job and moving forward in the recruitment process.

Always remember: Interviews are a two way street. Asking questions can help you stand out against other candidates and employers often make judgements about you based on the questions you ask. 

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